Are you one step away from starting your own dance studio business? That's great news. Your passion for dancing can help you launch and manage a successful dance school. However, while dancing is a form of art, starting a dance studio isn't. We are talking business here. And since you are planning on kickstarting a business you will need a business plan.
Is it a must-have or you can just improvise on the go? A bad or incomplete business plan is one of the main reasons why 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of launch.
With a plan in your hands, you will know which steps you will have to take even before you start a dance studio. Do you invest in a dance studio management software, what are your main business goals, and how to advertise your dance studio are just a few questions an elaborate business plan provides answers to.
Since it all can sound daunting to you, we decided to help you out. Here is everything you need to know about the dance studio business plan and how to come up with one on your own.
A business plan is a blueprint you will build your operation on. Generally speaking, all business plans documents can be divided into two sections:
Every company despite its size has marketing, financial, and operational aspects. A complete plan should address all these aspects outlining strategic actions you will take to achieve success in all these aspects. It can sound complicated to someone with limited experience in the industry.
Why go through the trouble then? Here are the most noteworthy benefits of working with a business plan.
Every new business owner wants their business to succeed. That's exactly what the business plan delivers. It provides you with a clear roadmap to follow. Let's start with the most noteworthy benefit of working with a plan.
With a plan, you will be able to have a structure. With your business objectives defined it becomes easy to manage a business and keep it on track. You can benchmark your current business performance against defined operational milestones and see exactly how far are you from your profit targets.
Once you start a business you can easily be drawn to making decisions based on a gut feeling or experience. Making the right choices becomes especially challenging when you are passionate about what you do. Since the dance studio business plan outlines your objectives you will be able to have a clear picture and stay true to achieving them instead of pursuing something else.
Marketing is essential for your business's success. Fortunately, you will have your marketing strategy outlined in the studio business plan. Everything ranging from the defined target market to services promotion strategies is there. A plan helps you achieve marketing clarity and stay true to your messaging which can help you build a consistent brand image in a long run.
A dance studio business plan also helps hire and retain top talent. Besides defining how many people you need to hire, roles, and responsibilities, the plan will also help you communicate your vision.
You will be able to enter a job market with clarity and seamlessly show how your employees contribute to achieving business goals. In return, you will improve employee retention and drive productivity.
We decided to devote a separate section for the last benefit of having a business plan because of how important it is. To kickstart a dance studio on your own you will need cash.
If you want to invest your personal savings into your dance school you won't have to prove to yourself that your business idea is valid and has a lot of potential.
But, on the other hand, having a business plan will make a smart investor who knows exactly what objectives you want to achieve and how you want to achieve them.
The other two financing options you have are bank loans and angel investors. And this is where having the business plan makes a considerable difference. Simply put, banks and investors won't take you into consideration if you don't have a plan.
As a matter of fact, a business plan is often a requirement in a loan application. After applying for a loan, the bank will often ensure that you have appropriate financial standing.
In order to ensure that you will be able to give back the money, they will need some proof that you know what you are doing. A plan that outlines how you'll operate all aspects of your studio will give them the confidence to approve the loan.
The last option to finance your business idea includes angel investors. These wealthy individuals are interested in investing in viable business ideas. To prove to them your idea is worth investing in and ensure you get the funding, you will have to present a business plan.
If the benefits motivated you to write a business plan you will need to know which sections to include. Let's see what you need to address when writing a plan for a dance studio.
Writing a comprehensive business plan for a dance studio doesn't have to be hard. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you cover all the essential aspects of a business plan including an explanation for each one of the aspects.
Every dance studio is unique. You should start your business plan by providing a detailed description of the type of dance studio you plan to open or expand.
In case you are planning to open a traditional dance studio you should outline the dance styles you intend to provide training and instruction for. You should also write down whether you want to focus on group classes, private classes, or both.
In case you are launching an online dancing studio, you should not only outline the dance styles you will focus on but also whether you will do classes in real-time or offer pre-recorded online classes.
Another important thing to add to the company analysis section is your dance studio business structure such as private company, LLC, S-Corp, and others.
Market analysis is a key section of a dance studio business plan. It's can help you get actionable insights into the dance studio industry as a whole. When you better understand the industry you plan to operate in, you can make better choices. It especially goes for market size as it tells you whether your business idea is viable in the first place.
While analyzing the market you can also identify certain patterns and trends which can help you align your business better and ensure increased profits. For instance, you can discover that a certain dance style is trendy and add it to your offer.
Finally, the analysis will paint you as an informed entrepreneur in the eyes of your potential investors increasing the chances your loan application gets approved.
This section should contain the following information:
One of the most important things you can do to ensure your business's success is customer analysis. The customer research and analysis report should find its way into your dance studio business plan.
Customer analysis will help you identify target customers and target audience. The key difference is that target customers are people who you intend to attend your classes, while the target audience refers to the people who you are going to target with your ads.
Oftentimes, these are the same two groups of people. However, in some instances, they are not. For instance, if you intend on giving dance classes to youngsters they are your target customers, but it is their parents who are your target audience.
Customer research will help you discover demographics. You will be able to discover what each customer segment expects from a dance studio. Each one of the customer segments is interested in unique class options, pricing, and dance styles.
Demographics include information regarding your customers' age, location, and gender. When you know who your target customers and target audience are, it becomes easy to custom-tailor marketing messages for every customer segment. It can help you attract more students and ensure the necessary revenue to keep your doors open and start planning an expansion.
During the market analysis, you've identified your key competitors in your market. Now is the time to do a competitive analysis and include the report in the plan. You can't run a successful studio business while ignoring the competition.
Competitive analysis stands for doing a study on the direct and indirect competitors in your target market. Direct competitors refer to other dance schools in your neighborhood, city, and region.
However, to appear as an industry expert you should also outline the indirect competitors. People attend dance classes at other venues too such as gyms and fitness studios. Don't just list the competitors. You should provide a brief overview of every competitor you will be up against including:
Once you provide the overview of your competitors you should help the reader understand how you plan to cut through the noise and make your dance school more competitive. The list of strategies you can list here can include:
Whatever strategy you choose, feel free to address it in detail especially if the competition in your target market is harsh.
The marketing plan includes all the strategies and actions you'll use to attract more students and have them sign up for classes at your dance studio. First things first though. You need to define your product.
In the product section, you should provide details about the classes you intend to instruct. You should cover every dance class type available at your school.
Next, you should list the prices for your instruction services. This section should outline the payment methods you'll accept, whether there is a recurring payment plan or not, and how your prices compare to competitors' prices.
The third thing you need to address in this section is your studio's location. If the location is suitable for building a steady stream of new students, feel free to elaborate on it.
Finally, you should outline your plan to attract new students to your venue. A dance studio business has many advertising opportunities to choose from ranging from flyers and outdoor hoarding to paid advertising on social media and blogging.
To show that you've worked out a plan to succeed you should provide a detailed advertising plan including:
Since you've shared your business goals, now it is the time to explain to your readers how you plan on achieving them. Or, in other words, you will need to write the operations plan.
The operations plan should include all your business processes. It should include everything ranging from your customer service to instruction processes. Basically, you should include everything you and your staff do in the dance studio.
The operations plan should also include your dance studio business goals, but this time they should come with a timeline. For instance, 6 months from opening we expect to reach $10,000 monthly revenue. Or, 3 months from opening we expect to reach full student capacity.
To build a reputable and successful dance studio you will need a good management team. You should include your team in this section. It should show the reader that you have the experience, knowledge, skills, and expertise to run a dance studio.
Include the list of your team members. The list should include relevant licenses, education, and prior experience in running a dance studio. If you feel like you lack expertise you can always network to find some mentors and include them on your business's advisory board.
While dancing might be your passion, running a business is all about managing finances and ensuring profitability. To show your readers that you truly are an entrepreneur you should make a financial plan for at least 5 years ahead.
Here is how to excel at writing a financial statement:
To make your plan more compelling you will need to document your claims and attach them in the appendix.
The appendix should contain documentation including a financial plan, customer and competition research reports, dance studio interior design, invoices for the space rental, equipment, and studio blueprints.
You can also include links to your official website and the websites of your main competitors.
The executive summary is corporate lingo for a business plan introduction. We intentionally made it the final step even though it's a business plan introduction.
It's simply because it should summarize all other sections of your plan. You will have such an easier job writing it when you have everything else on the paper.
Besides outlining all other sections, the goal of the executive summary is to make the reader interested in the rest of your plan. You should make it clear whether you are planning to launch a dance studio startup or you want to expand your existing operation.
Next, briefly touch on other aspects you've covered. Provide a short overview of your industry and the opportunities in your target market.
Mention the competitors and how you plan to stand out from the crowd. Share the key points in your marketing and hiring strategies. Lastly, include the most important details regarding your financial plan.
Now that you know all the important aspects of a plan you can use a business plan template. You can access a free template at the following link. The templates usually come with pre-drafted plan sections that you only need to fill out.
While this is a really convenient shortcut to take, you should be mindful that not all templates come complete. Make sure to cross-reference this guide with any given template to ensure all must-have aspects are there.
To start a dance studio and get the necessary funding you will need a great dance studio business plan. With formal documentation containing your business goals, strategies to achieve them, and a time frame for achieving objectives you will not only appear as a serious entrepreneur but also have a guideline to refer to when setting up your organization.
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